Accolades and Endings

September 25, 2017

We’re back! Today we have some news on off-the-field personnel to pass along, and a couple of good links.

Tacoma Rainiers team president Aaron Artman received a major honor last week, when he was named Pacific Coast League Executive of the Year.

The Rainiers had an amazing season off the field, highlighted by hosting the Triple-A All-Star Game in July. The all-star events went off spectacularly, and that’s a main reason Artman was honored by his peers.

It wasn’t just the All-Star Game. Tacoma also had great crowds, recording the third-highest total attendance in franchise history. Merchandise sales continue to rank among the best in the minors. Aaron continues to try to improve the Cheney Stadium experience by making improvements to the park: the R-Yard deck in left a couple of years ago, then the kid’s playground and whiffle ball field, and prior to 2017 the improved top deck/beer garden.

Artman became the first Tacoma executive to win this award since Stan Naccarato in 1975.

Up north, Seattle Mariners Radio is losing it’s anchor to retirement.

Kevin Cremin is retiring after 35 years as the producer/engineer for Mariners Radio. He traveled with the team, handled all equipment-related issues, and produced the broadcasts including pregame and magazine-style shows among many other duties.

Kevin has been a big help during the handful of games I filled in over the years. I hope he enjoys not working!

For more on Cremin, check out Shannon Drayer’s blog post on his career.

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Check back later this week, when we’ll see how many players from our Triple-A All-Star Game got called up to the big leagues afterwards.

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And The Triple-A National Champion Is…

September 20, 2017

The Durham Bulls.

Durham beat Memphis in the Triple-A National Championship Game last night at PNC Park in Scranton, PA, by a final score of 5-3.

Durham’s Kean Wong was the star, hitting a go-ahead grand slam in the fourth inning. That was part of a three-hit game for the Bulls second baseman.

Ex-Rainiers outfielder Tyler O’Neill hit a pair of singles and scored a run for Memphis in the losing cause.

It marked the second Triple-A National Championship for Durham in the 12 years that the game has been played. Durham won in 2009 – coincidentally, also against Memphis.

(Tacoma reached the final game after winning the PCL title in 2010, but lost to Jason Kipnis and Columbus).

Here’s coverage of the game from MiLB.com, and the newspaper in Scranton.

That was the final minor league baseball game of the year. Now we’ll watch the end of the major league season play out, with the playoffs right around the corner.

This is shaping up to be an interesting October, with both of last year’s World Series teams (Cubs and Indians) red hot at the moment, the once-mighty Dodgers stumbling down the stretch, the Astros with their brand new Verlander, the baby Yankees, the Red Sox turning Price into a bullpen weapon, and two dangerous teams playing in the NL Wild Card game.

This blog will be off duty for the remainder of the week; we’ll be back next week.


Triple-A Title Game Tonight

September 19, 2017

The final game of the Minor League Baseball season is tonight, when Memphis plays Durham in the Triple-A National Championship Game in Scranton, PA.

The one-game battle between the PCL and International League champions starts at 4:00 (Pacific) and can be watched live on the NBC Sports Network.

There will be some prospects to watch on the mound. Durham – the Tampa Bay Rays affiliate – is starting former Mariners prospect Ryan Yarbrough, and expects to use top prospect Brett Honeywell in relief. Hard-throwing St. Louis Cardinals prospect Dakota Hudson is set to start for Memphis.

Let’s root for the PCL. Hopefully Tyler O’Neill will hit a bomb for the Redbirds!

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Roses For The Redbirds

September 18, 2017

Congratulations to the Memphis Redbirds, who are the 2017 Pacific Coast League champions.

A fitting title for the team that had the best record during the regular season, winning a franchise record 91 games.

Memphis beat Colorado Springs in the American Conference finals, then had a real dogfight with El Paso in the Championship Series.

Memphis went up 2-0 at home in the best-of-five series, but then lost the next two at El Paso to set up a winner-take-all game last night.

Game Five turned out to be a pitching-and-defense affair, which the Redbirds won 3-1. Patrick Wisdom hit a two-run homer, and Matt Pearce pitched six innings and gave up just one run.

Wisdom was named MVP of the postseason, collecting nine RBI in ten playoff games.

Memphis has one game left, on Tuesday in Scranton in the Triple-A National Championship Game against the International League champion Durham Bulls.

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Game Five Of PCL Finals Tonight

September 17, 2017

The PCL Championship Series has gone the distance.

After losing the first two games at Memphis, El Paso returned home and has won two straight to even the series and bring us to the decisive Game Five tonight.

San Diego Padres pitching prospect Jacob Nix pitched into the seventh inning and allowed just one run in his Triple-A debut, and Nick Buss hit a three-run homer as the Chihuahuas topped Memphis on Saturday night, 5-1.

Here are reports on the series from MiLB.com and the El Paso Times.

Game Five is tonight at 5:05 (Pacific). Memphis starts Matt Pearce against El Paso’s Kyle Lloyd. Follow along right here.


M’s Affiliate Wins Title; Chihuahuas Stay Alive

September 16, 2017

Congratulations to the Seattle Mariners Class-A Modesto affiliate, which won the California League championship last night.

The Nuts swept their way through the postseason, sweeping both best-of-five series to win the title.

Infielder Joe Rizzo was named MVP of the postseason. Up from Low-A Clinton for the playoffs, the 19-year-old third baseman hit .538 over the five games he played in, driving in six runs. Rizzo was the Mariners second round draft pick in 2016.

You can read about the Nuts title run right here.

In the PCL, the El Paso Chihuahuas avoided extinction by taking down Memphis on Friday night, 3-0.

Franchy Cordero hit a go-ahead home run, and five El Paso pitchers combined to pitch a shutout. We have game stories from MiLB.com and the El Paso Times.

Game Four of the series is tonight at 6:05 (Pacific), with Memphis still able to win the trophy with a victory. Memphis leads the series, two games to one.

Whoever wins the series will play Durham in the Triple-A National Championship Game on Tuesday in Scranton, PA. Durham (Tampa Bay Rays affiliate) won the International League title last night.

You can follow Game Four of the PCL Championship Series right here.

 


Game-Ending HR Gives Memphis 2-0 Lead

September 15, 2017

Game Two of the PCL Championship Series was a real thriller yesterday in Memphis, Tennessee.

After a brilliant pitching performance by Memphis Redbirds starter Kevin Herget, the game was decided on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning.

Jose Adolis Garcia snapped a scoreless tie with a two-run homer to give the Redbirds a 2-0 victory – and also a 2-0 lead over El Paso in the best-of-five series.

Herget struck out a career-high 15 batters over eight shutout innings. He was one strikeout shy of the Memphis franchise record, established by current Cardinals starter Lance Lynn in 2010.

El Paso starting pitcher Bryan Rodriguez pitched seven scoreless innings, and Puyallup product Adam Cimber tossed two scoreless frames to keep it 0-0 through nine innings. Eric Yardley ended up allowing the game-winning homer.

The series moves to El Paso tonight, where the Chihuahuas are backed into a corner. Memphis can win the championship with a victory in Game Three tonight at 6:05 (Pacific). Follow along right here.

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